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What's New with Cell Phones?

What the Newly Opened Wireless Spectrum Means for You

BY JIM KARPEN

You love your cell phone—and you hate it. You love it because of the convenience, but hate locking yourself into contracts with the carriers, hate being limited by their offerings, hate having to pay for every little extra such as ring tones, and hate the complexity of the dang thing.

Maybe I overstate. Still, whatever your view, you’ll be happy to hear that things are changing. The stranglehold of the carriers is in retreat.

A first salvo was fired by Apple, with its highly original iPhone. It quickly became one of the fastest-selling phones, in large part due to its ease of use, and was named Time magazine’s invention of the year for 2007. So why was Apple able to think differently?

The answer is that they were willing to defy the carriers, who generally require that manufacturers make phones with a specific interface. They want all cell phones to work alike, in part so that they don’t have the expensive chore of providing customer support. Keep it uniform.

Click here to read the rest of this article. You'll be taken to Jim Karpen's website where you'll have access to all of Jim's posted writings.

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